Thursday, 19 November 2009


I've just caught up with a lovely Posy blog post on scent.  I love scent as much as I love colour. I enjoy essential oils and incense - generally Japanese or Chinese incenses which are complex and elegant and enticing.

I love to mix flowers and leaves in a vase to blend their fragrances.

Today I have a posy of wild fennel fronds and jasmine flowers. The liquorice smell of the fennel blends magically with the creamy jasmine.

I always grow as many scented plants as I can fit in my garden, and every year I make up blends from the dried flowers and leaves. Each year's mix is different.

I don't use a fixative - although bay leaves tend to deepen and preserve the scent of any mix. A few of my mixtures have kept their fragrance for years, but generally they only last a year and I renew them each autumn.

Here are this week's rose petals, the beginning of this year's mixture. 

And this is one of my dearest treasures. I have kept these little sweet boxes for forty years now. Inside is the still fragrant pot pourri I made from the flowers of my mother's garden the year I left home. I gave one box to Mum and took the other with me.

When my mother died it was in her box of special treasures. Now whenever I open the lids I can still smell the particular fragrance of that garden, that summer.


erica said...

I'm really enjoying reading about your herbs and pot pourri's. I don't have a garden of herbs and flowers to enjoy yet (it may be several years in fact). Thanks for the wisdom and ideas.

Elizabeth said...

The great thing about herbs is they grow in pots & cracks in the concrete etc etc. Even when I only had a shared strip of backyard concrete I had herbs. Hope to read that you are planting this spring and enjoying your new home space!